Why You Should Always ‘Big Up’ Your Design and Branding


Being a business ‘Big Wig’ looking to create a restaurant fit out or perhaps a bar fit-out, you’ll probably have a good idea about this already – but it never hurts to reinstate what we’re about to say. So please indulge us…

Whether you’re providing a service via a restaurant or bar, selling products in a retail environment or looking for a new office ‘look’ then the spatial layout, design and overall ‘feel’ of your premises is crucial.

And it’s not just about standing out from the competition and being unique; your customer’s experience and staff sentiment should also be key to what you’re attempting to create. You’ll want to not just delight your customers, for instance, but make them feel comfortable and – crucially – encourage them to come back time and again.

And, if it’s your office, then you’ll obviously want those employees of yours to feel stimulated, but also comfortable at the same time. It’s not particularly easy to achieve. So, how do you go about securing this ideal space?

Well, once you’ve worked out who your target customers or staff are – and what they need in a venue to keep them happy and content – then your focus should certainly be directed on the following:


Restaurant Fit Out and Design

If you’re not a themed establishment then go ahead and chose a contemporary design; not one that’s too ‘with it’ though – unless you plan on a refit a few years down the line after that trend ship has passed and your venue starts to look rather dated.

Your design should reflect the appeal you’re looking to achieve. Are you a modern, ‘go-ahead’ company looking to attract a millennial crowd? Perhaps you’re an upmarket establishment looking for a serene and classy interior to appeal to wealthy clients? Then again, you could be a niche establishment with a quirky vibe…

restaurant fit out

Our restaurant fit out for Bar Soba Derby was about creating a contemporary, funky feel for a vibrant young crowd


Spatial awareness and flow

The way customers move through your premises is incredibly important. In retail the products that shops want to promote are always in immediate and direct eye-contact with the way the customer is ‘led’ to walk through the shop ie by the arrangement of the displays, shelving etc.

When it comes to a restaurant fit out the layout should be arranged so that diners are able to catch a waiter’s eye and that the staff themselves can move smoothly and quickly around the tables, secure in the knowledge they’re not about to trip over a chair or customer’s handbag.

Diners also like to feel they have room to move around but not to the extent that they feel isolated from their closest neighbour (tables which are too spaced out won’t create an intimate, cosy atmosphere in a restaurant and will just make diners feel self-conscious).


bar fit out

We created a relaxed, clean interior with contemporary branding for Hanon in Aberdeen



Noise too can be affected by layout. If you’re after a busy, vibrant feel in your bar fit out then have plenty of furniture and people sitting close together. If it’s a shop then lots of shelving will ‘insulate’ and have a similar effect. For a cool, upmarket – and absolutely more sophisticated vibe – opt for minimal furniture with plenty of physical space in between.

In an office, consider whether you’re looking for staff to ‘integrate’ between sections. If so, modular furniture, which can not only be moved around easily but also work as seating and desks for both a working area and meeting zone, can prove excellent in this respect. Flexible working anyone?



Getting the lighting right is another important area in creating atmosphere, especially for a restaurant. Warm white LED bulbs give out a cosy feeling – just what your valued customers are looking for when having a romantic, sit down meal – while those cold blue’ish white LED bulbs are more about productivity and so much better for a retail environment (‘stimulating blue-white lighting is particularly good for a supermarket where bosses want to keep customers moving through the tills).

And who doesn’t want to look young? Put bright white lights above a restaurant table or in a bar with a low ceiling and watch your customer numbers dwindle. Flattering lighting, which doesn’t highlight too much, will always win you a thumbs up from your visiting clientele.



Ever wondered why most fast food restaurants are yellow or red? It’s because these bright, primary colours are believed to stimulate appetite. Certain shades of blue and green are deemed relaxing while purple has always retained a romantic vibe. Depending on the ambience you’re looking for in your establishment, both colour and lighting can have a huge effect.

shopfitting uk

Stellar in Aberdeen were looking for a cool and contemporary feel in classic white which wouldn’t ‘steal’ the limelight from their stunning products



Want your customers to just be ‘in and out’ of your establishment? Then keep the heating down low. But if you’re a bar you’ll want them to keep those bums on seats for an hour or two at least. So, keep it cosy (unless it’s scorching outside, of course – but then, we are in Scotland).


The importance of branding in design

Branding is about so much more than a logo. Your branding is your ‘identity.’ It signposts your customers and staff to what you stand for as a company in terms of vision, ethics and beliefs. It shows them why you’re different and even how you feel about them as customers or staff.

That’s a big brief – and it’s why branding is so crucial to design. The two are impossibly inter-linked.

Consider a couple of the major brands out there in the UK right now:


You may love it or hate it because of its smell (which, we ourselves can testify, wafts out onto every high street in which it’s located), but Lush is a market leader in design and branding. And it’s a high street name which is going from strength to strength. It positions itself as a cruelty-free and environmentally-friendly retailer. This is a ‘strongly-scented bath bomb emporium’ which is all about minimal packaging and recycling.

And it shows this by having an open fuss-free interior and one in which the customer is heavily encouraged to browse and sample. You won’t find any elaborate shelving or expensive and elaborately-created displays in a Lush shop. On the contrary, what you will find is a market stall-like interior with lots of informative chalk boards highlighting the benefits its products will bring. There’s the impression that all the company’s money is spent on its products rather than its look which in turn brings extra benefits for the customer.

Jamie Oliver

In the restaurant field, Jamie Oliver’s restaurants are all about friends and family having a great time together, eating healthy food that’s going to make them feel better about themselves.

The interior of the restaurants have a warm vibe with their large wooden tables, cosy lighting and ‘fun’ atmosphere. The décor is classier than your average Italian Trattoria – but no-where near the fussiness of fine dining you’d recognise from such a popular and well-respected chef.

There’s a ‘matey’ and friendly feel about every Jamie Oliver restaurant; ‘our pal’ wants you and your party to have a good time by chilling out in the bar before coming to eat. And he demonstrates his ‘modern’ chef appeal by paging you when your table is ready.

Are you looking for a re-design to what has become a rather dated or staid interior? Then get in touch! We’re on the ball in terms of contemporary design and offer a free consultation and expert advice. Call us today on 0800 197 2922 or get in touch through our contact page. There’s nothing we love more than a challenge!